The Union agriculture ministry has finally woken up to the adverse environmental impact of the mushrooming of aquaculture projects in the country. A panel of experts has been constituted under the aegis of the Central Board of Fisheries to draft suitable guidelines of aquaculture management.
According to R N Trikha of the fisheries department, "There is need to develop sustainable aquaculture keeping in mind the environmental and sociological costs." Of late, concern has been growing over the inland prawn farms and marine shrimp farms in the coastal areas. Environmentalists argue that the maximum sustainable yield should be fixed at half the current production levels, claiming that the fishing grounds are saturated with nearly 69 per cent of the potential already depleted.
The ministry has asked the panel for a detailed survey and to identify land suitable for aquaculture. Sources said that the government is also planning to ensure that cultivable land is not diverted to brackish water aquaculture.
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